Thursday, 6 February 2020

Novel Coronavirus Aromatherapy Guide


Coronavirus is spread by close contacts sneezing and coughing. There is no vaccine. Symptoms include laboured breathing. Precautions include wearing a face mask and good hand hygiene. So far the mortality rate appears some 3%

Coronavirus is now with us and in the public eye.  Ships and whole cities are in quarantine.  The virus is contagious and transmitted in the same way as colds and flu.  People are becoming ill with respiratory shortness of breath and dying including some of the medical staff who treat them.

As to which essential oils I look past the articles claiming essential oils are all conquering or a waste of time.  There is plenty of scientific research on PubMed and in the aromatherapy literature demonstrating essential oils have anti viral and anti biotic properties. Literally scientists can watch the bugs die and we should not doubt the evidence of their eyes.

I am exposed to viruses all the time.  We all are.  But the show must go on. 

Personally in the last seven days I have sung Brahms, Beethoven, Vivaldi, Mozart, Orff and Haydn.  This may seem a strange way to start an article on Essential Oils and Coronavirus but bear with me.  

The point is in our daily lives we are in close contact with many others. Personally I have sung in the presence of hundreds of other people in just the course of last week.  During the day I work in a busy office.  Papers and people come in and out.  Were some people I met at work or play sneezing or coughing? Of course they were. Could someone have sneezed around those papers in the last day leaving bacteria or viruses on those papers? Of course. 

Part of the way I manage the risk of this exposure is by taking vitamins particularly Vitamin C.  Also having a positive mission in life helps minimise the risk.  For example usually doctors who treat patients do not themselves tend to succumb to disease.  It’s a measure of the seriousness of the matter that the doctor Li Wen Liang who alerted the world to the issue of Coronavirus has died.  

Clearly prevention is better than a cure.  I shower daily and wash my hands.  Daily hygiene routines help me stay free from microscopic pathogens.  I eat a varied diet to maintain a healthy immune system and I exercise.  Not as much as I should but I exercise. 

Part of the way I manage the risk of this exposure turning into an infection for others is being responsible. If I have an active cough or a sneeze I stay at home and work in bed until I feel better.  Not everyone is able to do this of course.  

We all depend on people showing up even with a cough or sneezing.  For example the soprano soloist on Saturday sang bravely and beautifully even with an evident cough in rehearsal.  It is even more imperative at work to carry on and ride public transport.  People depend on us and we depend on them.  I don’t tend to wear a facemask when I go out but clearly that is a habit we may all have to get into.

I keep myself informed.  A starting point is Wikipedia online.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronavirus  
I have qualifications in science so the strange looking words don’t confuse me I know what I am looking for.  I quickly see there is presently no vaccine. So for the time being the matter is serious and deserves our attention. As ever prevention is more important than a cure.  

Besides coughing and sneezing the symptoms include a shortness of breath. I see that the virus is transmitted in the same way as colds and flu by respiratory droplets.  I would most likely breathe in the virus to become infected.

Do I diffuse essential oils with an atomiser in the home and at work? Yes I do. A room spray adds water droplets to the atmosphere and that seems a bad idea.  In fact running a dehumidifier seems a sensible precaution. The oils are volatile and will diffuse in the air themselves or with the aid of an atomiser.

As to which essential oils I look past the articles claiming essential oils are all conquering or a waste of time.  There is plenty of scientific research on PubMed and in the aromatherapy literature demonstrating essential oils have anti viral and anti biotic properties. Literally scientists can watch the bugs die and we should not doubt the evidence of their eyes.

So which essential oils do I use? Lavender, Tea Tree, Eucalyptus oils and Lemon. You only need a few drops at a time so the bottles which are inexpensive will last a long time.  Do read the precautions on the bottle label and if placing on the skin dilute with oil like olive or sunflower oil.  A particular cautionary note I would add is to only use fresh and genuine essential oils.

Peter Ian Brealey

References

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